Millennials also called as Gen Y or Next Gen, are the generation born between early 1980’s and early 2000’s.They have been misunderstood, called names like entitlement generation, a self-centred, arrogant and disloyal lot. Every generation differs from the previous one, then why nit-pick on them. Why don’t we just understand, appreciate and learn from the differences? Many attempts have been made to study this group of individuals but traditional methods are just not enough to join the dots and decipher this dynamic new breed.
A few years ago, there came a time when the Internet was born and started to re-define everything , yes that is exactly the time when the millennials grew up, defined and raised in a radically changing digital era. They are very familiar and comfortable with technology by default and can be rightly be called as digital natives. Millennials treat the Internet as their external brain and have a whole new way of approaching problems as compared to the previous generations. It is certainly not an exaggeration to say that they are connected 24/7 and are forever on the go. In fact the proliferation of social media has resulted due to this intrinsic desire of the Gen Y to stay connected.
With so many options available, Gen- Yers are mobile in comparison to their brand loyal predecessors. They are also highly educated with multiple skills and have a tendency to be far more entrepreneurial than the previous generations. The choices they make are motivated largely by their personal experiences and also those of their peers. It is but logical that these are a demanding bunch and seek convenience and multiple needs to be fulfilled by one platform, failing which they have absolutely no qualms in switching to the competition. Stimulated by a highly globalized and mobilized era, millennials are a lot who are enthused about the whole idea of getting to know about different cultures, people and habits. They are essentially globetrotters and back-packers who have lesser prejudices, high level of tolerance towards differences with far more liberal values than the older generations.
Sure, there are oddities to every generation, but millennials require a different touch when it comes to marketing. They are smart and know when they are being pitched to and have over the years built a resistance to the traditional and boring ways of promotion. All the elements that make them so hard to get are the same ones, if banked upon can help you really get that edge. This generation is perplex indeed, but reaching out to them is crucial and will ultimately help marketers to enhance their brands, fulfil marketing and ultimately business objectives.
Events have been around the corner for a while now. Events are great way to talk directly to the target audience and engage them in real time experiences. Then again plain jane events are not really helpful, the trick is to combine your event objective, brand story with trending technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and machine learning to create integrated touch points that narrate the brand essence, exhibit a competitive edge, engage the audience in real time demos and leave them with informative, relevant and memorable brand experiences. Next up we have social media, as clichéd as it may sound, millennials use this platform to consume, collaborate and contribute. They constantly turn to these networks for new opportunities, to find out about a brand and to acquire more information; besides reviews and experience sharing really makes or breaks the deal for them. But merely being present on social media doesn’t do the trick. You have to effectively communicate with the millennial market and engage with them in the truest sense.
This younger generation is heavily influenced by the opinion of peers and people they actively follow on social media. Why not resort to creating brand evangelists then? Roping in celebrities, sports personalities and the likes does drill a hole in the marketer’s pockets. Rope in famous online influencers like notable podcasters, bloggers, YouTube personalities and Instagrammers and watch the tables turn! This is a smart and budget friendly move that works really well with this generation. Notice, how these millennials are always on their smart phones! Never ignore this medium’s potential to connect and collaborate with your target audience. Let’s start with the basics, landing pages must mobile-optimized, quick to load, with a user- friendly interface and a no hassle call-to-action. Never use intrusive mobile banners, users are almost always bound to hit the close window button and ignore you. Seamless mobile integration is what we need to grab the attention of the millennials, consider a brand sponsoring a popular in-game reward.
Millennials are bored of traditional forms of advertising and content. How about we provide them content which is simplified, authentic, provides value, relates to them and seems like it is coming from a noteworthy peer? Such type of content when combined with the right platform can work wonders for your brand. Furthermore, involve your customer by devising social media campaigns or contests that lets them know that their opinion is critical and counts. You could either allow them to be a part of your product creation, sampling phase or post purchase drives. The result? Your target audience feels a sense of ownership leading to increased brand awareness and loyalty. You can also up your customer participation game by offering them loyalty and reward programs, whether you are selling a B2B or a B2C product. Corporate Social Responsibility is another factor that has caused a seismic shift in business. Millennials take pride in associating with brands that are charitable and have the pro-environment approach.
To sum it up all, millennials like events, breed on genuineness, relevant connections with a personalised touch, two way communication and social responsibility. There’s definitely no rocket science involved, although you need to be highly intuitive and add that human touch. We can safely assume that this trend is going to continue with each subsequent generation, largely shaping the way brands communicate with their masses, compelling businesses to change or face the consequences!
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